Category Archives: rant

Radical Consent

I’ve just spent the majority of the past couple hours reading other people’s journal entries and notes and whatnot on a relatively popular kink social site, and one thing is abundantly clear… there are some gifted writers and smart people here, but these concepts that we’re tackling are hard to grasp, difficult to enumerate, perhaps even impossible to grok in a universal way.

There were several writings that struck a chord with me, but I’m going to pick on one in particular, because I both respect the author and think that he got a few things wrong.

I don’t know what makes me believe that adding my voice to the chorus will make a whit of difference, but here I embark upon that quest anyway.

Consent is one of the pillars upon which we build our community and trust.  Without consent, what we do is abuse.  This is an important statement, so please bear with me as I ask you to read it again, and be sure that you see there are no hedge words here: without consent, what we do is abuse.

I would never take it upon myself to invade a scene and put a stop to any actions that I saw taking place, even if, to me, they looked like abuse.  This is a conditioned response, and it was *not* something that came naturally to me.  This thing that we do is a highly ritualized and distinct universe from the reality that makes up day-to-day life for most people.

I have been witness to things that would make my blood boil and invite violence if the context from those actions was missing in my mind.  I can walk into a public dungeon and see things that if I saw them in a vanilla nightclub would warrant intervention, and I have.  But because I understand that the playplace I am at has house rules, and I accept that it is valid for me to assume that the people in scene have pre-negotiated their own terms, any intervention on my part is unwarranted, unwanted, and indeed harmful.

I have a great deal of respect for the writer of the piece I’m talking about — he goes by the name of Master James — and in his writing, he talks about consent, but he throws context out the window.  He lambastes the masses for failing to understand something that I have difficulty with even after more than a decade in this lifestyle, more if you count the years I spent at the periphery.  Our community is the only place I know of where people are able to give informed and radical consent.  Outside of the ivory tower, this is a much more muddled subject matter.

I have a contract with my partner.  She signed it willingly.  In fact, the task of writing the contract was a task that I delegated to her, because I wanted to be absolutely certain that her consent was informed, deliberate, and incontrovertible.  Not that the document itself has any legal standing, or that it cannot be changed (she was very insightful when she put the clause that allowed for modification of the contract into the contract itself) – but whether it has standing or not, whether it can be changed or not, it represents the pinnacle of consent.  It outlines the terms under which I can take action, the things that are expected of me, and most importantly, the things that I am not to approach.

Because of this, she is the only person in the world with whom I would have sex if she were intoxicated.  Because I have sober and persistent consent from her, I do not worry that she might not be able to consent to things for which we have previous history, but erring on the side of caution, I would not, even with her, attempt to push boundaries that we have not approached before when she is intoxicated.

This is all well and good in a perfect world, but the world is not perfect, not even in the highly idealized world in which we reside as kinksters.

However, this is the point where the illusion breaks down and Master James’s argument takes hold…

What if **I** am also intoxicated?

Now, I *am* a feminist, and I object to the term ‘radical feminist’ on the premise that the word ‘radical’ has become demonized and to apply it to a person is an attempt to discredit them by appellation, but I will admit that there are variances in the degree to which people cleave to this ideal, and since I am not a woman, I will never probably be as fully cognizant of the struggles of women as I should be, so I may not be as adherent to this ideal as I could be.

As far as I understand things, this is the argument that the feminists would make:

1) Alcohol and other intoxicants alter your inhibitions and cognitive abilities, making informed consent impossible.

2) Social pressures exist for women that take hold in the situation described in 1) above, and therefore, for a woman, even simple consent (as opposed to informed consent) is impossible for women even when only moderately intoxicated.

3) I am a man, and the dangers for me are significantly less than they are for a woman, so I should endeavor to err on the side of caution in all of these situations, and I should police my own actions.

On the face of it, I agree with all three points.

Point 1) is a simple fact, proven over and over again by numerous studies and real-world scenarios.  This is only reinforced further by the fact that the number one date-rape drug of all time always has been and will continue to be alcohol.

Point 2) is arguable, but you’d have to be something of a horse’s ass to make that argument.  There is no doubt in my mind that women have pressure put upon them from even before they reach sexual maturity to ‘put out’ for the boys – this is something that we can change, and changing perceptions like this is the reason I call myself a feminist.

Point 3) is also arguable, but again, it’s a reasonable argument to make.  As an atomic argument, I have nothing to say against it.  The first part of the statement is pure fact – sex is much more dangerous for women than it is for men.  There are STIs that are much easier for women to contract and for which the consequences are much more dire than they are for men, but even if that were not the case, unwanted pregnancy is a huge problem for a woman and significantly less so for the man.

If you take each of these individually, I would say that this represents a very strong argument.

However, the problem comes up with the intersection of points 1) and 3).

Sex is less dangerous for me, so I should err on the side of caution.  Roger, I’m with you there, totally on board, 100%, no problem.

Alcohol reduces inhibitions and impairs cognitive function.  This is every bit as much true for me as it is for her.  I have been taken advantage of when intoxicated.  I didn’t report it, because, well, that point 2) up there? there are societal pressures for us men as well…

But more importantly than my own experiences as a victim, when I am cognitively impaired and my inhibitions are reduced, remembering point 3) is potentially impossible for me, and I think it is not a broad generalization to apply that to any person.

Rape is a really ugly word.  Worse than ‘radical’ by a long shot.  The thing that many feminists are trying to do is to divorce the concept of intent from that of rape.  This is where I think the problem lies, and something that I disagree with, vehemently.

Rape is legally defined as the unlawful compelling of a person through force or duress to have sexual intercourse.

This is an overly narrow definition, not the least of which because it explicitly calls out sexual intercourse when I would classify a whole host of other sex acts as potential rape, but inherent to this definition is the concept of compelling someone to do something, and that requires intent.

If I don’t intend to rape you, I cannot rape you.  At least, not in the eyes of the law, and I’m pretty sure that intent should also be the litmus test that we use for applying that term outside of the law as well.

Intent can take on many forms.

If I am at a party and I see a girl who is alone and drinking a lot, and I encourage her to drink more with the idea that I will then take her back to my place and have sex with her, that is rape.

If I am in a long term relationship with you, but things are rocky and we haven’t had sex in a while and I keep refilling your wine glass because I know that you loosen up when you’ve had a bit to drink and I hope that I can then coerce you into having sex when we get home, that is also rape.

If I am at a bar and I’m flirting with a pretty girl who is matching me drink for drink and then she invites me back to her place to have sex and I go along, is that rape?

I don’t think it is, but I’m not sure, and if I wasn’t just as drunk as she was, I would have collected her contact information and NOT gone home with her, because of point 3) above, but I’m drunk, and I’m human, and she’s pretty and she invited me to her place…

Have I ever violated the consent of someone?  It pains me to say so, but I probably have.  Not all consent violations are rape though.

No one has ever told me that I have violated her consent.  Not once, not ever.  None of the actions of my youth resulted in my incarceration, or even arrest.  I have never lost a friend because we had sex and she later decided that she didn’t want to.  I have never cultivated a friendship on the hopes that one day in a moment of weakness she would sleep with me because that was what I really wanted from the beginning…

However… I have had one night stands.  The premeditated intent to have sex was never a factor in any of those one night stands.  Never have I ever set out at the beginning of the evening thinking, “I’m going to get laid tonight,” but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t happened.

Does this make me an evil person?  I don’t think so, but I’m not sure.

Have I ever had sex with someone, while drunk, that I would not have, had I been sober?

Of course I have… and you can bet your last dollar that it will probably happen again at least once before I can’t get it up any more, but I am a man, and those incidents were a lot less dangerous for me than they are for a woman.

Determining intent can be hard to do, even when you are making every effort to be honest with yourself, and in the end, adjudicating rape may end up much like Justice Stewart’s famous description of hard core porn versus art: “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [“hard-core pornography”]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.”

In his well-written and thought out piece, Master James makes the connection between a woman’s inability to consent while inebriated with being a child, and that’s where I think he’s just dead wrong.  Women are facing more danger than men in these situations and that must be considered by any rational man.

Feminism goes beyond seeking equality between the sexes because they are inherently distinct and unequal.  No matter how much I would like to be able to do so, I can never conceive a child, and that is both a blessing and burden that I can never face.

Let us, as rational beings, make things equal where they are, and accommodate the things that are not, and this is one of the things that is not equal.

I will continue to do my best to hold to points 1), 2), and especially 3) above, but I will not always succeed perfectly, because these three things are not complementary and they are not even really points, but instead they are spectra, but I know who I am and what my motives are, and I sleep very well knowing that I do the best I can.

I believe that is all any feminist, ‘radical’ or not, would ask of me.

I guess I was in the mood to rant…

I am Rant, and I have opinions, but I’m not always right.

Rant off.

Desperate is the Death of Sexy

Sex is a funny thing.  When you’re not getting it, it seems like the best thing in the world.  When you get plenty of it, it’s still pretty fucking wonderful, and when you are having as much as you want, with one partner or ten, people can usually tell.  I’m not sure exactly why, but people who are regularly having sex – not just any sex, but good sex – tend to stand out.

Actually – I’m pretty sure I do know why… it’s all about confidence.

There are several ways to describe the unconfident person, and desperate is often an accurate description.

Desperate is the Death of Sexy.

The intra-sentence capitalization there is a bit hokey, perhaps, but the emphasis is warranted.

Nothing moves you from ‘dark and mysterious’ to ‘lonely and pathetic’ faster than the simple realization on the part of the observer that you are not, in fact, mysterious, but that you are, instead, merely pathetic and some of my more timid friends are in awe of my ability to stay in the ‘dark and mysterious’ camp without having to resort to the ‘douchebag’ camp tactics.

I’m here to tell you that it is entirely possible to be both kind and sexy.  Contrary to the current conventional wisdom, you do not have to be an asshole to get girls to like you.  In fact, you just have to not be a pushover and you have to ask for what you want.  I’m not the most attractive man in the world, but I have no trouble whatsoever in finding sex partners because I am confident, intelligent, kind, and patient.  And by patient, I don’t mean that you stalk the poor woman for four months and hope that she’ll relent and have pity sex with you – the fact that that ever works is a serious detriment to us all, but that’s another rant entirely…

Somewhere in the twentieth century, Western society started to view women as people.  This is an amazing and long overdue accomplishment.  Someday, perhaps we will get to the point where we view women as equals as well, but that is something that I’ve harped on to various degrees in previous posts and won’t get into again here.

Anyway – the reason for mentioning the above is that prior to about a hundred and fifty years or so ago, there wasn’t much of a concept in Western society of consent as being important to the act of having sex.   Women were quite literally the property of their fathers or husbands and it was up to those men to decide when the women in question were allowed to have sex and with whom.   Women were viewed either as assets or liabilities, but never as people.  They were something to be sold away or bargained with.  And once the woman in question was of ‘breeding age’ she would be disposed of by her father and taken possession of by her husband who would then gain exclusive access to her, sexually and in every other way as well.

Fucking barbarian viewpoints if you ask me…

Anyway… somehow we managed to pull our asses out of such depravity and recognize that women have a right to control access to their own bodies.  This gave them the right to say ‘no’ and they often did, because out-of-wedlock children are still viewed with a stigma attached, it’s a very difficult thing for a woman to raise children on her own, and for the first time women were being given a choice about whether or not this was something they wanted to do.

When the birth control pill hit the streets we had a brief period where sex was viewed as something that could be experienced for pleasure alone and without all of the consequences that were commonly part of that equation before.  Women were actually, finally, and for the first time ever, able to choose to have sex for the sake of pleasure alone – something that men have enjoyed since the dawn of time.  The era of ‘free love’ was born and because the impetus was on women to go on the pill – a choice which they alone were empowered to make, reversing the power dynamic on a fundamental human drive for the first time ever – they became the de-facto gatekeepers of sex.

This put the choices that led to ‘consequence free’ sex into the hands of women alone.  Of course, this isn’t completely true – condoms have been around for much longer than the pill – but they require some forethought and for some reason which I cannot understand, are anathema to a lot of people’s enjoyment of sex.

So – the common belief evolved that men always want sex and that it is up to the woman to decide when and where this occurs because the preparation for this is her responsibility.   This is a naive viewpoint, but let’s let it slide for now…

This is a pretty new paradigm shift, but it is at least a couple of generations old now, and pretty firmly entrenched.  When the AIDS epidemic killed ‘free love,’ the changes to the way society views women and sex were already firmly in place, so sex became a lot scarier, and women started to say ‘no’ more often.  This is relaxing a bit now that HIV is treatable, and thus no longer a death sentence, and because infection rates have dropped in most of the world other than sub-Saharan Africa, but it is something that still plagues the minds of those in their 30’s and low 40’s.

So, now women had multiple good reasons to say, ‘no’ more often, and for the first time, the fact that they were saying ‘no’ mattered.

Guys in my generation were raised to respect this.

This is a good thing.

But society is a very poor teacher.  In order for the message to carry through all facets of society, it must be delivered as bluntly as possible and the consequences for failing to meet with expectations must be severe.  The end result was that the message, as delivered, was somewhat emasculating.  It came with the worldview that said, basically, “you can have sex with a woman only if she ‘gives it up to you.’”

This is a dangerous and harmful idea.

Firstly – this makes the assumption, once again, that men want sex with anyone and all of the time.  Secondly – this makes the assumption that women are reluctant to have sex in general, and that you will only succeed in getting into her panties by performing some kind of heroic act for which she is so grateful that she decides to go against her normal nature and allow you to have sex with her.  Implicit in this assumption is that women don’t want to be having sex normally.  And lastly, this also includes the assumption that sex is a taboo topic that should not be discussed openly, and that hurts everyone involved.  My general rule in life is that if I can’t talk about it openly, I should probably not be doing it.

Women like sex every bit as much as men.  Especially with patient, kind, and confident men.  Their tastes with the actual experiences differ considerably from woman to woman, but this is true of men as well.  Some women like to be called dirty names, some are totally turned off by the very thought of that.  Some women like to have their hair pulled or their asses slapped, but others respond only to gentle touch.  It behooves one to learn about what she likes before you start trying to push her into unknown territory.

In my experience, once you earn a woman’s trust (and I’m sure the same goes for men) she’ll be willing to at least try anything you ask her to do.  So if you have a particular kink that she doesn’t share, be patient, be kind, and be confident.  She’ll probably come around, and if she doesn’t you can address that once you know that you’ve at least given it the best possible chance for success.  But if you lose your cool, or you whine at not getting what you want, you can be guaranteed that she won’t even consider it.  She’ll lose respect for you, and if you ever even got into her panties, you probably never will again.  Once the respect is gone, it is extremely difficult to get back.. not impossible, but difficult, and the longer it goes on that way, the harder that climb back uphill becomes.

So – gentlemen of the interwebs – this is my advice to you:  Be calm, be sure, ask for what you want, and respect what she likes.  If you can do those things, you have a much better chance of not only getting what you want, but of getting it often and with enthusiasm.  It doesn’t really matter what you look like, how much money you make, or really any other of the myriad of criteria that society tells you are important.  Of course, it never hurts to be a billionaire Adonis type, but even if you are one, you’re going to get much less actual action if you act like a whiney toad than if you hold your head high, believe that you are valuable, and ask for what you want.

Desperation is the Death of Sexy, and I’m determined to bring Sexy back.

Was this a rant? I’m not sure.

Either way, I am Rant.

Rant off.

The Feminist Dom

“I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength,

who makes enormous demands on me,

who does not doubt my courage or my toughness,

who does not believe me naive or innocent,

who has the courage to treat me like a woman.”

-anais nin

You see this quote all over the Internet.  Even though I cannot pronounce her name to save my life, I believe Anais Nin to be a genius of the highest caliber.

I make the claim here in the About Me page, but I have also had a profile at various times on one of the more popular dating sites where I make the same claim, and so I get asked a great deal:  “How can you be both a Dom and a feminist?”

This is usually followed with more questions closely on it’s heels.. more specific questions like: “How can you believe that it is okay to punish a woman for (failing to properly prepare your food//forgetting to call you Sir/Master/Daddy//being bratty//letting your drink go empty//eating the wrong things//etc…) and DARE to call yourself a feminist?!”

The answer to those questions lie in the quote above.

I take on the role that I do for two reasons:

1)  I enjoy it.  It fulfils me in a way that nothing else ever has.  I crave devotion.  I don’t fully understand this, but it is what satisfies me.  I am every bit as devoted to those who are devoted to me – perhaps moreso in some cases – but perhaps I am a bit of a narcissist for wanting this.. in any case, it’s true, and to deny it would be insincere.

2)  The woman for whom I play this role requires it of me.  She needs someone to fill that role for her every bit as much as I need to do it for her.  She wants someone who will make enormous demands of her, someone who does not doubt her courage, someone who pushes her boundaries and pushes her to be what she wants to be, she wants a man who will demand that she live up to her promises and who will punish her when she does not.

The service mindset is not a complicated one, and it’s far more universal than one might think..

This is taken slightly out of context, but it’s an interesting quote from a somewhat surprising source:

“Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy”

One would not be remiss to attribute that quote to someone who was known for giving his life in the service of others, and while Mohandas Gandhi did give his life in the service of others, it is his resistance to oppression for which he is most known.  How can one who loves service so deeply also be so strong in his opposition to oppression?

This is the logical fallacy that most people fall prey to when they think about the D/s paradigm.

Service and submission take strength and trust.  It is rare that the convergence of personalities allows for complete submission, but when it occurs, it is powerful stuff.

Many are those who will tell you that in a D/s relationship it is the submissive that really has control.  This is of course, total bullshit.  In a properly balanced D/s relationship, both partners share equally in the power exchange.  They both have the same right to walk away at any time, they both have the right to negotiate for what they want, but ultimately this always ends in the Dominant partner having more power than the submissive because that is what they both want.  The submissive is never in control and does not want to be.  However, this power is a gift from the submissive partner to the Dominant one, and the moment that either one of you forgets that, the dynamic is lopsided and doomed to fail.

I am a feminist, but that does not mean that I believe that women are exactly equal in all things.  Women are exactly equal in most things, and they are better at some things, and there are wonderful and amazing things that they can do that I will never understand or experience.  I celebrate those differences, and I hold fast to my own.  I believe that every person, regardless of birth gender, gender identity, desire, ambition, or anything else that might be used to label them, has the right to live the life that they want to live and to ignore, refute, or resist any attempts to cause them to do otherwise.

I am a feminist because I self-identify as one, because I do not sit idly back and allow the gender politics of the Internet or discussions that occur in meatspace while I am nearby to skew towards discriminatory policies towards women – or anyone for that matter, because I may be Dominant towards submissive women in my life, but I seek to break the dominance that society has put in place for men, and for caucasian men specifically.  I am quite aware of my position of privilege and I did nothing to deserve it other than being born who and where I was.  I believe that the rights and privileges that I have should be made available to everyone.  I let respect guide me.

More than anything, that is the essence of this ideal for me – I let respect guide me, I maintain mindfulness and an awareness of my own space and position, I do not seek to dominate those that do not wish it of me.  I endeavor to always do no harm, protect those that need protection, and advance the cause of those who are not privy to the position of authority that I have for being born a white male in America.  Honor, respect, and integrity are important to me.

This was not quite a rant, but it represents something I feel strongly about.

I am Rant.

Rant off.

Rant: Safewords

When I was inducted into the BDSM world, one of the very first lessons I learned was on the use of a safeword.  For this reason, it surprised me to learn how infrequently these are actually used.  In some ways, this isn’t so bad.  Some groups/pairs have other negotiated ways to stop activities or scenes if they need to, and that is all well and good, but there is one important difference between some of those things and what I was taught a safeword was supposed to represent…

I don’t know if it was the 50 Shades books that made this popular, or if it was popular before they were released, but I hear a lot about the use of the words ‘yellow’ and ‘red’ as ‘safewords’.  While on its own, this is not a bad innovation, it seems to have come at the cost of damaging the protocol for how to treat safewords – at least, insofar as my understanding of them has gone.

The protocol I was taught is very simple:

* There is ONE and only one safeword.  It should be a word that you would not normally use in play and it should be deliberate – something that you wouldn’t utter on accident or that might be misinterpreted as another word, and not a single syllable – something you have to mean it when saying.  Anything else is intended as part of the scene.

Sometimes this can be difficult for me to accept, I’ll admit, especially in things like rape fantasy scenes… I sometimes react to ‘No’ even when I should not.  It is a limitation that I’ve been unable to completely overcome even after 15 years, but this protocol helps and without it, I would likely be unable to take part in such scenes at all.

* If your play restricts the ability to speak, another gesture/movement will be used to convey the same meaning – this gesture/movement should fall into the same category as the word above – something deliberate, something that can’t be mistaken for something else.

* Either person (or any person in scene) can use the safeword to stop the scene/play/activity at any time for any or no reason.

* Use of the safeword stops everything for everyone.  Action will be taken to immediately stop all activities, pull participants out of bondage, cutting bonds if necessary, and begin aftercare to establish a sphere of safety and comfort for all participants.

And that’s really all there is to it.

I cannot stress the importance of the concept of immediate stop here enough.  What we do can be dangerous.  Permanent nerve damage is possible, as is asphyxiation, severe physical trauma, even death.  However, much more difficult to quantify, but possibly much more lasting in terms of long term damage and the need for repair are the possible psychological trauma that can occur from what we do.  The physical nature of things requires obvious action when the safeword is called, unless you don’t know what you’re doing – in which case you should not be doing it! – you will be able to easily spot where the tension is wrong or where there is too much torque, or where the beating is in danger of causing nerve damage or things like that, but it is nearly impossible to spot the signs of psychological trauma, and the only reasonable thing to do is to always assume that is present.

I keep a set of EMT shears with me at every scene.  I would recommend that every Dom do the same, whether you are intending to enact a bondage scene or not – just have them with you.  They’re second only to condoms in importance of having nearby, in my opinion, and with a fluid bonded partner, much more important.  This is a good example of what you should have : link  – I’m not recommending these specifically, and there is no affiliate link in there, so I don’t get any kickback if you order them from that link – do your research, find a pair that you like, get those.

I actually have a full trauma kit in my home, as much for use in possible civil emergencies as for things that might go wrong in a scene (which, thank the gods, I have never needed for either case) but I don’t usually take the whole thing with me when I’m going somewhere else.  The EMT shears are non-negotiable though, even if it means I have to check a bag on a flight for which I could have otherwise avoided doing so.

I have never needed the trauma kit, but I HAVE needed the shears.  I did a bondage scene with rope once where my submissive called out the safeword that I had set for her, and I cut her out of some complicated knots as fast as I possibly could have and it still felt like too long.  I’ve used leather restraints with carabiners and hooks before, and while those do obviate some of the need to cut someone out (since releasing a carabiner is much faster than untying a knot) I would not have hesitated to cut right through the leather if I had to, and I’ve tested the shears to be certain that they can do just that.

Pulling my submissive out of that bondage scene and then holding her and telling her that she was safe and that I was there to take care of her now and that the scene was ended was an intensely emotional thing for me as well as her.  She claims that she has no lasting psychological trauma from the scene, but it could easily have gone that way.

And this brings me to the reasons why I am not fond of ‘yellow’ and ‘red’ as safeword/codes…

One – having two words adds confusion to something that can not really stand to be confusing.  

That is more colloquial English than I am used to using, but I want to make this point very clear: confusion is your enemy in a BDSM scene.  This is why I push on open communication and  negotiation hard.  Confusion will get people hurt.  If not physically, people will get hurt emotionally or psychologically.

Two – having an ‘almost safe’ word detracts from the power of the ‘safe’ word.

I am not a fan of this ‘new’ development at all.  I call it ‘new’ because there was no such concept when I first started in BDSM.

It is my duty as Dom to understand what is happening in the scene and to control it, and that includes making sure that my submissive is okay no matter whether she uses the safeword(s) or not.  I should understand that if my submissive is not comfortable that I am encroaching upon her limits and be careful.  I am more than happy to make her uncomfortable, but I never wish to injure her.  Walking that line is usually pretty clear to me, because I make an effort to understand my submissive and what her body language is like before I begin any physical or even psychological contact, but everyone makes mistakes.. and that is what the safeword is there to resolve.

Hearing ‘yellow’ and then transitioning to ‘red’ leaves the feeling that there may be yet another level above that, or invite the question, “did you really mean ‘red’ or are we still at ‘yellow’?”  In my opinion both of those scenarios are dangerous and uncalled for.

The responses that I’ve seen advocated for with ‘red’ even are to back off and reassess, which in my not-so-very-humble-opinion is not nearly enough.  When I’ve been called upon to play by those rules, I’ve tried to do so to the best of my ability, but I would really rather have heard ‘hurricane’ and dropped out of scene entirely and gone straight to aftercare.

This is where this instructional message turns into a rant.

If I am your Dominant, I do not want to injure you.

I will hurt you.

I will bring you right up to the breaking point and show you how deep your own well goes.

I will push myself every bit as hard as I push you to achieve these goals.

I crave nothing more than the trust and worship and catharsis that comes from knowing that I can push you as hard as I think you can take, as hard as I myself can take, because that safety net is there – the safeword.

I have known couples that claim a safeword is not useful, or, even worse, say that use of a safeword is somehow not “real BDSM”.  That a slave who uses a safeword is not really a slave and that they have no place in these things.

That is an ignorant and dangerous position to take, and frankly those people scare the shit out of me, and I’m honestly not scared by much.

I need to be able to trust you to know your own limits, and I need to be able to know that I can push those in a safe, sane, and consensual manner.

If you take away my safeword, I cannot do that.

And yes, I have used a safeword as a Dominant.  I find that it provides a more complete catharsis and begins aftercare in a more distinct manner than simply pulling away and saying something like, “you’ve had enough.”  That is a condescending and unnecessarily brutal way to end a scene.

I care too much to not care about safewords.

This is my opinion.  This is not a call to action.

This is a rant…

Rant off.

Living the lifestyle

I’ve been around the block once or twice.

I’m not old, but I’m no spring chicken, that’s for sure.

BDSM today is a lot more complicated than it was when I was first putting my toes into the water, so to speak.

Firstly, there seems to be this conceptual gap that people can’t seem to see past that I don’t think was ever present before, at least not in the circles that I swam in.  “The lifestyle” is all there is to some people, and anyone who is not living in a 24/7 Total Power Exchange is not ‘real BDSM’.

One of the things that first attracted me to BDSM was the acceptance that followed with being with a group of like minded people who were unafraid to express who they were and what they liked.

What happened to that?

When did it become okay to order around someone else’s submissive without permission?  I saw that happen recently and I was shocked.  Never in a million years would I be so disrespectful.

I don’t recall so many alpha contests happening in my youth.  Perhaps I wasn’t interested in playing, but then, I’m not all that interested in it now.

My pack is not your pack is not the pack at large, and I don’t have to challenge every other Dom to know where I fit.   I can be respectful and even deferential to an equal, especially when I am in His house.   And I have a right to expect the same respect when you are in mine, and there is no violation of hierarchy or protocol involved.

There are no absolutes in BDSM, and that is its strength.

BDSM uses contracts, but more than that, BDSM is a contract.  No matter who you are or what your role is, your place in the shared construct is determined by everyone’s willingness to play.  If you don’t play fair, you can go home.

Just because I claim to be Master Rant, does that give me the right to assume that any submissive must bend to my will?  Where I was raised and inducted into this method of expression – because never forget, that is what BDSM is, it’s a shared fantasy, it’s a choice – where I was raised and brought into this way of life that would never fly.

Not every D/s pair likes to share.  And that is their right.

Not every unclaimed sub is looking for some random Master to come pull him off of his feet and drag him away to be beaten.

There seem to be a great many un-Dom-like Doms out there today, and I’m not sure where they came from or where they got their sense of entitlement and lack of morals.

If I saw a sub kneeling beside her Dom at a club or event, never in a million years would I approach her without first approaching him and seeking his permission and approval.

If I saw an apparently unclaimed sub, never would I just walk up and give her orders, or attempt to punish her for failing to refer to me as Sir.

Honor.  Respect.  These are concepts and ideals that are eternal, or at least they should be.  The strength of any society is in the willingness of its members to remain a part of it, the moment that we break the implicit social contract that comes with this lifestyle we place the whole edifice in danger of collapse.

Being a good Dom does not mean wearing arrogance like a badge and demanding that others see you as you want them to, because anyone with any experience sees right through that.

I am a Dom, and I have no difficulty at all in navigating the currents of this shared fantasy we live in because I know who I am and I do not need you to tell me.

That is the weakness that masquerades as strength.

When you insist that I call you Lord Thunderbottom or that my slave refers to you as Sir whenever you address her, you are showing me your fear.

If you would like to converse with my slave you will ask me and I may even consult her before I give you permission.  That makes me strong, because I understand the bond that we have, and if you call me weak for allowing her to have an opinion, you are showing me that you are afraid of your own shadow and I call you not-Dom.

 

This is my opinion. This is not a call to action. This is a rant…

Rant off.